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  • Prologue to something good

    Xian Carter grew up in Hong Kong. Today he’s a forensic pathologist, working for and with the SFPD (aka medical examiner - he does autopsies for a living). He’s also not human. He refers to himself as a demon of sorts, though it’s not clear from his statements exactly what kind of demon he is. He speaks of having been mortal at one time, of having been created, and as having a local “blood brother” (meaning another who was created by the same “parent”). For me the fact that Xian never fully elaborates his paranormality works, since that means my brain didn’t automatically put him into any one specific category. His eyes are light-sensitive, and he’s kind of creepy, but don’t hold that against him. Bottom line -- whatever he is, he’s one of the good guys. Spencer Ricci just joined the ranks of the SFPD, after a long career as a detective with the LAPD. He has a bad history with booze, so SFPD is both a new start and a last chance. He’s kind of cynical, more than a little down on himself, and he’s determined to do right by both his new city and for himself. His soul and reputation might be tarnished, but he’s still a solid cop trying to seek justice for the murder victims that he investigates. Spencer has just been called to a really weird case. A mostly-mummified body has been found in the back room of a Chinatown eatery. How and when did this person wind up dead? How did the body get into its current condition? Who put the body in a restaurant (not to mention why)? And most important to those of us who like to eat, are mummies something the health inspector looks for when they check restaurants’ storage areas? Xian is the medical examiner paged to the seen. It’s the first time he’s worked with Spencer. Spencer isn’t quite sure what to make of Xian. Xian has a rep for being standoffish, but Spencer’s also been told that if anyone can help him get to the bottom of things, it’s Xian. The two get off on a bit of a rough start since Carter wasn’t as prompt on the scene as Spencer would have liked. Carter earns some respect by telling him he’d been delayed with a 4-body traffic fatality and “Had I known that everyone else on call was going to tap out because they didn’t want to deal with a surly inspector and failed burrito of human jerky he’d found I’d have come straight over”. Human-ness aside, I got the impression that Spencer and Carter are actually a lot alike. It doesn’t take long for Spencer’s investigation to hit some hurdles. The first hurdle being that his partner disappears. He’s new to San Fran, new to the SFPD, and now is on his own. Then, to complicate things even further, Spencer gets attacked and nearly killed. Carter comes along at just the right time to keep Spencer from being the morgue’s next guest. The story gets wound up in kind of a cliffhanger, which is not typical for Rhys. The ending reminds me of Chinese food – enough to be satisfying for now, even though you’re going to be craving more very soon. This whole story kind of had the feeling of being a prologue to something bigger. Knowing Rhys, something bigger and better is definitely yet to come.

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  • A Treasure

    A great first read for a New Year. Tantalizing in the story it told and the world it weaved, Bound, introduces you to medical examiner Xian Carter and SFPD Investigator Spencer Ricci who have an uncanny draw to one another. The ending caught me by surprise in a somewhat unpleasant way but has me really eagerly anticipating the next instalment. Rhys Ford's writing is pure artistry and I am enamoured with this word. I definitely recommend this book.

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